Episode:Civilization—The State (Part 2)

From Symmetry of Soul

The measure of the advance of society is directly determined by the degree to which public opinion can control personal behavior and state regulation through nonviolent expression. The really civilized government had arrived when public opinion was clothed with the powers of personal franchise.

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Keywords: Urantia, Freedom, Democracy, Republic, Suffrage

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We revisited the implications of the point made by our author that the emancipation of minors at age twenty-one was a significant factor in the collapse of the Roman Empire. This seemingly minor reform far from being deleterious to Roman society might be seen as a reasonable and progressive step forward, yet the rapidity and extensiveness of its adoption had a detrimental effect on the society. There is grave risk in implementing social change based solely on a spiritual viewpoint. The existential value and goodness of the spiritual perspective must be balanced and adjusted in consonance with evolutionary principles, and cosmic perspective. Our planetary history is poignantly punctuated with lessons on the consequences of the impatient acts fueled by the unbridled spiritual consciousness of our planetary benefactors. This conversation sparked concerns about a possible interregnum in our future. We noted that while the Most Highs do rule in the kingdoms of men as overcontrollers, they do so to protect our planetary destiny. We do not look to the Most Highs to prevent an interregnum, but to ensure that nothing prevents our ultimate attainment of light and life.

We had further conversation about nature of the emergency on our world that occasioned the delivery of the 5th ER. There is no spiritual or existential emergency. The emergency is temporal and evolutional. The 5th ER provides us with the assurance of individual personal salvation and the certainty of ultimate planetary status of light and life. The great challenge we now face is can we transcend our self-seeking proclivities and self-centered perspective to assume the responsibilities of cosmic citizenship while yet in the flesh? The duty demands of cosmic citizenship require we be grown from children of God to adults of God. This growth is dependent upon moving beyond the consecration of creature will to the Father’s will to the consecration of creature mind to the universal harmony of God the Mother—cosmic insight.

71:2. The Evolution of Representative Government

As mentioned many times in our broadcasts, civilization is not automatic, but results from personal choice. Democracy is a product of civilization, not evolution. We are shown that democracy harbors dangers, (see list of five dangers) such that our author admonishes us to go slowly and select carefully. These five dangers represent the false extension of the idea of equality beyond the spiritual domain into the material or intellectual realms, where the idea of equality is delusional.

Public opinion in the form of the mores tends to retard social evolution, but preserve civilization. Education of public opinion is the only safe method of accelerating civilization. And as previously mentioned, the decline in our educational systems on a national level is part of our emergency. Further, public opinion being the basic and elemental energy in social evolution and state development is only of genuine state value if it is nonviolent. Society’s advance can be measured by the degree to which public opinion can control personal behavior and state regulation without nonviolently. The difficult lesson is to remember that evolution does not at once produce superlative perfection but rather comparative and advancing practical adjustment. Herein is a major test for those reformers who are tempted in their impatience to make precipitous and wide sweeping social, political, or economic changes in the name of progress.

The remainder of the broadcast was given to discussion of the ten stages in the evolution of a practical and efficient form of representative government.

We note that these ten stages are sequential. They begin with freedom of the person from all forms of human bondage. Next comes freedom of thought, which is dependent upon education in how to think intelligently and plan wisely. These liberties can only be enjoyed in an environment where the rule of law serves to constrain the will and whims of human rulers with legislative enactments in accordance with accepted law. Freedom of expression, right to private property, right of petition, and the right to actually manage the government follow. An intelligent, efficient, and universal electorate is a precondition of representative government. The character of any representative government is dependent upon the character and caliber of those who compose it. With advancing civilization, universal suffrage is modified, regrouped, and differentiated to reflect the inherent differences of the citizenry. Finally, concerning the officeholders and public servants in a representative government, the citizens must possess techniques of guiding and controlling them. And these governmental personnel are to be technically trained, intellectually competent, socially loyal, and morally fit if government of the people, by the people and for the people is to be preserved.